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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 September 2008

Them & us

Even fatter cats

ANDY HORNBY, who brought HBOS bank to the brink of collapse as chief executive, will retain his job following the Lloyds TSB takeover and is set for a 2 million shares windfall. That's on top of his 2 million a year salary (which is 81 times bigger than the average worker's wage) and Hornby will also retain his gold-plated pension pot of 2.4 million.

Meanwhile the Lloyds TSB's takeover of HBOS could see up to 30,000 jobs axed and 1,000 branches closed in an attempt to make 1 billion in annual savings.

The Unite union has vowed to fight any job losses. Deputy general secretary Graham Goddard said: "It's corporate greed that has brought the financial system to its knees, our members should not have to pay the price. We will not accept compulsory redundancies."

Selling HBOS short

THEY MAY not be the root cause of the current meltdown in the financial system but their greed certainly has made a massive contribution. Who? The so-called 'vulture investors' who engaged in the currently suspended shares swindle known as 'short-selling'.

These coke-snorting 'traders' (read 'parasites'), often working for the secretive hedge funds that make millions for their super-rich clients, take shares on loan from a broker for a specified amount of time.

They sell them immediately, hoping that the price will drop. When it does they buy them back at the lower price, pocketing the difference. Nine of these hedge funds (including the ironically named Harbinger Capital), targeted HBOS, short selling a large percentage of HBOS shares in a gamble worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

Pig sick

ONE OF these gamblers, Philip Falcone of Harbinger, recently bought a 24 million home that has a room for his pet pig. He is reported to have made hundreds of millions gambling that HBOS's share price would plummet. This little piggy is said to have 'earned' 950 million last year.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 24 September 2008:

Their failure, their system: make capitalists pay


Socialist Students

Scrap tuition fees!

Students seek out socialists!

Education a 'them and us' system


Socialist Party editorial

New Labour flounders in face of economic crisis


Socialist Party feature

Make the super-rich pay!

Merseyside CNWP calls for socialist policies


Socialist Party campaigns

Protesting against Bush and Brown's wars

LibDems aping the Tories

Them & us

Jamie's school dinner staff threatened with privatisation

Fighting the racist BNP in Stoke

We won't take the RAP on pollution

Health Trust concessions on Swansea casualty unit

Salford councillors play blame game


Socialist Party workplace news

Civil service strike ballot begins

Workers vow to fight Ford's closure plans

North Staffs NSSN launched


International socialist news and analysis

Revolution and counter-revolution in Bolivia


Socialist Party review

The Dark Knight: Batman's latest crime-buster

McMafia: Crime Without Borders


 

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